From Millions to Billions of End Points: Stress-Testing the Cloud and the Internet of Things

May 30, 2016

Anshul Gupta sessionAnshul Gupta, Research Director, Gartner used the analogy of raindrops which aggregate into floods of water, and which cities need to plan for. It’s the same with the IoT. Most sensor data is small but it aggregates. There will be 21b things by 2020, and data will double in volume every two years, so there’ll be 22ZB by 2020.
“We’ve seen CSP network outages such as EE in the UK and Verizon in the US, often due to human agency rather than technical failure – such as servers ad systems being overwhelmed with combined people uploading pictures from a football game. This is why we need testing. Not just for data volumes, but compatibility, functionality, and connectivity as well as performance,” he said.
Amit Sinha Roy, Vice President, Marketing & Strategy, Marketing Centre of Excellence, Tata Communications, said testing is essential to provide a good user experience. LoRa helps with testing aspects of eg range, frequency operating parameters. Then that data comes onto our network and those of others. But that’s not the whole story. With a smart fridge, the cheese maker, fridge maker and others need to have standards to work together – but there’s a problem if a sensor misbehaves and spews out unnecessary data and hits the network, so there needs also to be a means for dealing with this.
Naveen Bhat, Vice President & General Manager, Sales Asia/Pacific, Ixia, said you need to think about how granular your device testing is, and about how they communicate. We provide capability for manufacturers to test using a simulated set of traffic from thousands or millions of devices. The network provider needs to know that this will work. Latency becomes an issue especially for devices that are life-critical.
Ashwin Jaiswal, Head – IT Business Consulting & Practice (Telecom, Media & Entertainment), Reliance Communications, said yes, latency is a big issue, as are the number of protocols involved. We need backwards compatibility with multiple protocols because they have to work in multiple scenarios with multiple vendors’ systems, platforms and devices. Also, in manufacturing scenario, devices are deeply embedded inside other machines, so how do they communicate? Testing won’t be easy, and must be done on case by case basis. It’s all evolution right now. And no test can cover all scenarios, so there will be failures and we will learn from that.
Derrick Loi, Senior Director, DC Solution and Services, Orange Cloud for Business, said his company has tailored solutions to suit different verticals and use cases. One recent development is for big data: one hotel chain wanted to make sense of their customer profiles and how to manage by adjusting their resources to support them.
So we made our cloud analytics ready. The data needed to be processed before being aggregated but many branches of this hotel chain were ill-equipped to handle this level of data, so they needed to have their infrastructure upgraded. They can now run the IoT apps to pre-process the data. We made the hotel branches resilient to failure even if the network went down. We set up instances of Hadoop on demand. We set up backups, made the infrastructure application ready – in other words made it easy for users to set up IoT instances. They just had to turn it on and off – ie turnkey operation for a hotel branch IT admin. They use a catalogue from they can choose which application they want to deploy, and all this got us over several barriers to adoption.
Jaiswal said, with respect to to latency, we’ve all experienced this, which is critical for eg health devices. He gave an example of a path that was cleared to get a heart transported quickly from Kolkata to Mumbai by shutting down roads. Is this what is required?
Q: Need to ensure whether vendors are ready for testing?
Bhat said the confidence among CIOs for testing is quite low. But when security breaches happen – most likely due to inadequate testing – the estimate of losses when info is stolen is unknown for a long time. So enterprises need to take active steps to secure their networks, if necessary by regulations that force revelations of breaches.
Courtesy: NetEvents

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